WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Summer-like temperatures are on the way to Texoma, which means pool season is just around the corner.
But this season could hit your wallet a little harder, thanks to a nationwide chlorine shortage.
It’s being considered the worst chlorine shortage the country’s seen, according to CNBC and it’s just in time for summer.
“There was a time when even the distributors, the wholesalers, just didn’t have any,” Trophy Pools and Services owner Klint Newton said.
Newton’s been in business for nearly three years and said the shortage is sending prices to the moon.
“The price just jumped,” Newton said. “Every day the price kept getting higher and higher and it’s still happening. So, supply goes down, demand goes up, the price goes up.”
According to experts, the shortage can be blamed on two things: the pandemic and a fire at a plant in Louisiana last year that destroyed one of the nation’s largest tablet producers.
Outback Pools and Spas co-owner Paul Buckingham said when he saw the fire he knew they needed to react.
“We looked at that opportunity to go ahead and purchase enough product to be able to take us through the spring and summer of this year without having significant increases,” Buckingham said.
Even with prices climbing and long order times on chlorine tablets, Buckingham said you don’t need to hoard.
“These things aren’t going to just stick around like toilet paper,” Buckingham said. “It does have a shelf life. We prefer for it to stay in a cool dry environment, most people leave it out in a shed so you want to use what you purchase this year. You want to use it during that swim season and be through with what you need by the end of October.”
In the meantime, there are some ways to work around the shortage.
“One kid using the bathroom in the pool can wipe out the whole pools worth of chlorine in one kid,” Newton said. “Another thing you can do is use algaecides. There are some algaecides out there that’ll cut your chlorine usage in half. One of the best things you can do is buy your own chlorine factory and that would be a salt system.”
Wichita Falls Utilities Operations Manager Daniel Nix said the city is not impacted yet by the shortage but they are keeping a close eye on the situation and staying in contact with their vendor.
Chlorine isn’t the only issue pool companies are running into as there’s also a plastic shortage. This was due to ERCOT shutting off a plant in Houston during the winter storm that produced 50% of the nation’s plastic. That affects the buckets to put the chlorine into as well as pumps, filters and other plastic parts.